Avoid Filing an IFTA Audit Appeal

We admit. Even the name of this title seems daunting!

However, we think it is important for you to understand what is required for an audit appeal. We have recently learned about the appeal process at this year’s IFTA/IRP audit conference.

This step is crucial to avoid filing an appeal for your IFTA audit: You must collect and keep proper records of your mileage and fuel data.

Your mileage data has to have odometer readings that can be verified against your truck’s odometer or truck’s computer. Whether you are using the GPS of an AOBRD (Automatic On-Board Recording Device) or of an ELD (Electronic Logging Device) or a separate GPS system, your mileage data must be complete, validated, and records of it must be kept for at least 5 years.

A complete mileage data set means that there are no missing miles or gaps from the beginning of the quarter to the end of the quarter. For IFTA your mileage system must be recording at all times pinging every 15 minutes or less. If there are missing miles or gaps then you have to know why and when your system stopped working. You should have a way to fill in this mileage gap ensuring that if this malfunctioning happens then you can check for what miles are missing.

As for your fuel data, if you are using fuel cards then you have to ensure your fuel cards are designated to specific trucks. If you have paper receipts then make sure your drivers do not lose them and keep them organized.

If you have your fuel data and your mileage data properly organized with no data gaps and no miscalculations there should be no problem with your audit.

If you find that your audit was not in satisfaction to you, you can file for an IFTA audit appeal. Remeber, it is a progressive approach auditors follow when companies are not compliant, that is, they audit different time frames or audit more than once then educate and finally punish.

Appeals are based on Jurisdictional Law and procedures may vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. There are three separate but equal branches of U.S. government:

  • Legislative – writes law
  • Judicial – decides law
  • Executive – implements and enforces law

IFTA operates in the Executive branch, enforcing motor fuel use tax laws.

The following outline gives you an idea of the process you go through if you have to file an appeal:
  • Write an Appeal that
    • summarizes agency action or decision
    • summarizes basis of objection, generally including law relied on
    • request relief
  • Hearing Examiner is appointed
  • Prehearing Conference
    • A settlement might be discussed to resolve the issue before proceeding further into the appeal process
  •  Discovery and Document Evidence
    • Request for Admissions
    • Interrogatories
    • Production of Documents
  • Depositions
    • Protocol
    • Documents
    • The Questioning
  • Hearing
  • Decision
  • Conclusion

Keep your trucking business on the right track and use eTruxFuel to stay away from filing an appeal.

We want to make IFTA reports and other fuel tax reports easy for you. Why not take advantage of our 31-day free trial?